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Compensation order over Okinawa base noise upheld, but amount cut

In this Sept. 16, 2018 file photo, the U.S. Air Force's Kadena base is seen in Okinawa Prefecture. (Mainichi/Michiko Morizono)

NAHA, Japan (Kyodo) -- A high court on Wednesday upheld a lower court ruling that ordered the Japanese government to pay damages to around 22,000 residents in Okinawa over aircraft noise at a U.S. base.

But the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court reduced the amount of compensation to 26.1 billion yen ($242 million) from 30.2 billion yen ordered in 2017. It also backed the lower court's decision to reject the plaintiffs' demand for a ban on nighttime and early morning flights at the U.S. Kadena Air Base.

The suit filed in 2011 was the third in a series over the base stretching back to 1982.

The rulings on the previous suits have been finalized, ordering the state to pay compensation to residents of the island prefecture that hosts the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan.

In the latest suit, both the state and residents had appealed the February 2017 ruling of the Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court.

The initially ordered compensation of 30.2 billion yen was the highest amount of damages awarded against the central government in a suit over noise from a military installation.

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